I recently read an article saying it’s possible to run your business from a mountaintop. I’d love to say I’m doing that right now, but I just don’t see the benefit of toting a laptop up a mountain.
However, I did write this while sitting very near some mountains in Austria – my 7th country in 2 months – where I was running my blog and business from the road.
My ideal mornings are spent working from coffee shops, with afternoons dedicated to exploring (read: being completely lost in) new cities. I love the freedom to travel where I want, when I want, but it does take hard work and self-control to focus on work while the world is waiting out my door.
So, how do I do it?
Whether you want to dip your toes in the world of remote work for a weekend, or are ready to sell everything and set off, here’s 3 tips that will help you get started:
1. Be Realistic
A 5-country Euro-visit and 2 project deadlines in a week? Not happening.
Spreading the same goals out over a month or two? Absolutely.
This isn’t a vacation in the traditional sense, but it is a vacation from your usual workweek. Just remember to plan enough time to get everything done, without having to scramble for a Wi-Fi connection or pull an all-nighter to catch a deadline.
Trust me, sitting in the back stairwell of a restaurant holding your computer over your head for an internet connection is not a great way to hold a conference call.
2. Find your balance
When traveling, you’ll have so many wonderful adventures before you that you won’t want to sit down and respond to emails. The key is to establish a good routine early on. Write down your daily objectives. Then, refer to that list regularly.
This is a bit of trial and error – some people work best in the morning, others at night, while still others like to alternate. Don’t try to change into a new person. If you aren’t normally productive at 6 a.m., that probably isn’t going to change once you’re on the road.
As soon as your clients (or boss) see that you are dedicated to your work and deadlines, you’ll have everyone’s full support – and a growing client list to match.
3. Get the Right Tools
Know time zones, fill your Skype credits, check Wi-Fi hotspots and buy a SIM card – these will all make your day-to-day life so much easier.
Another trick? Email scheduling.
You can write an email at 9 a.m. Paris time, schedule it for 9 a.m. Los Angeles time and be eating croissants at the Eiffel Tower by the time they hit ‘open.’ So efficient, it feels like magic.
At the end of the day, it’s all about creating a routine that works, and sticking to it. Once you make that commitment to free yourself from the office, you will find your process – and you output – improving daily.
Just remember to look up from your computer and enjoy the view.
This is a blog post that I recently wrote for The Outsite, a collection of work+play accommodations that cater to entrepreneurs, business travelers and digital nomads. I spent a week there this year, working from their beach front location in Encinitas, CA. and it was just what I needed in order to revive after 2 months backpacking around Europe.